“Enlightenment is nothing more than the complete absence of resistance to what is. End of story. What more freedom could there be than the end of any and all resistance and struggle?” -Adyashanti
There is a common tendency in all of us: We do not accept ourselves, others, the world, anything, the way it is, right now. Instead, we often worry, doubt and in general think about how things could be better or different. It is not to say that there is no improvement to be had, but when the mind habitually runs thoughts like “I’m not good enough, I shouldn’t have done that, I should be prettier, stronger, etc.” – where is there room to create anything new? We end up pushing and pulling in life, continually judging and criticizing, not seeing things for what they truly are and not being content in the world.
Our habitual thought patterns can seem so real. As MSI (1996) writes in his book, ‘Ascension!’, “Our experience of reality cannot be separated from the beliefs, thoughts and perceptions of the mind. The major function of the mind is to create what it thinks is reality. The mind is like a mirror. If the glass of the mirror is dirty, the reflection is necessarily going to appear hazy or distorted. What is never experienced is the actual reality of anything, but only its resonance with our beliefs, judgments and internal programs.”
How do we give up this false self-image and identity? How do we cleanse this mirror and experience the actual reality of ourselves and the world we live in? To experience the reality of anything, you need to expand the mind past the limited state in which it was created. As we see beyond the doubts and fears in the mind, we can connect to a greater reality. It is like the boy in the Matrix movie who is trying to teach Neo how to bend a spoon. He suggests to not try to bend the spoon – that is impossible. Instead, just realize the truth – that there is no spoon. When we put our attention on realizing the Truth, then the problems disappear, because they weren’t real in the first place. The impossible happens, the spoon bends! As we let go of what we think is true and connect to the Source, we become the true creator in our lives.
Many meditation and spiritual practices offer us tools and guidance to reconnect with this Truth or Source of all that Is. Whatever it is called, it is a state of presence, appreciation and true acceptance and is always there, waiting for us to rediscover it. It is who we already are; we are just removing the obstacles that keep us from recognizing it. As Rumi once wrote, “There is a place beyond right-doing and wrong-doing. I’ll meet you there.” As we shift our attention away from our limiting thoughts to the Source of all thought, we live life in the present moment with a complete acceptance of what is. We then naturally act for the good of all, without any forethought or planning, while retaining inner stability. This is the art of true acceptance and does not need to be difficult or even take that long. There are many practices and True Teachings that pass on this knowledge and tools to help turn inward to this Source and expand consciousness. These will always point the student back to their own heart; to discover and experience this for one’s self.
“When the self is no longer seen as a problem, this is called “the peace that surpasses all understanding.” -Adyashanti